Great 1962 crime novel: The Hunter, by Richard Stark


14 Responses to “Great 1962 crime novel: The Hunter, by Richard Stark”

  1. aikimoe says:

    It also inspired the fantastic movie “Point Blank” with Lee Marvin, and a beautiful recent comic book adaptation by the wonderful Darwyn Cooke.

  2. scottunder says:

    As a friend who recommended it pointed out, it’s some of the leanest prose imaginable. It’s a thin book, and nothing is extra. 

    Darwyn Cooke’s books do a great job recreating the stories as noirish graphic novels. He’s done three so far, and I think it’s a great medium for Parker. 

    “Point Blank” was remade by Mel Gibson, as well, and Jason Statham just made a movie, “Parker,” based on a later Parker novel. Parker, however, does not have an English accent, so it’s didn’t work for me (he also tries a terrible Texan accent).

    • jtnix says:

      I was going to say, reminds me of ‘Payback’ with Mel Gibson.  Is that the movie adaptation/remake you are referring to or did he do another bad-guy protag film?

      • Mike Earley says:

        Yes–Point Blank and Payback are both adaptations of The Hunter. And Payback has a ‘director’s cut’ (which, IMHO, is horrible). Payback is one of my favorite movies. Point Blank is also very good, although a bit campy due to when it was made. 

  3. He also (as Stark) wrote three or four books starring Parker’s sometime-partner Alan Grofield, which are OK but not nearly as good as the Parker books.

    I read these (and Westlake’s Dortmunder books) for the first time a couple years ago and enjoyed both series. They are almost funhouse-mirror images of each other. (In fact, I think there is an elusive Dortmunder book out there that features a Parker book-within-the-book.)

  4. DataFran says:

    Darwyn Cooke is one of my favorite comic book artists, and while crime isn’t a genre I read in novels, it’s one I do seem to enjoy in graphic novels. I highly recommend the adaptations, Cooke is his usual outstanding self.

  5. ian dalziel says:

    May I recommend Patricia Highsmith’s excellently socio/psycho-pathic Ripley series (aka the Ripliad)
    also turned into some excellent movies, The American Friend by Wim Wenders, remains a firm personal favourite.

  6. Alex says:

    I love the Parker novels, the hunter is arguably the best. He is such a cool character, he has his code and breaks heads. Fantastic. I really enjoyed The Seventh too a minor Parker novel in some ways but it’s plot is pretty tight.

  7. igpajo says:

    Makes me think of Stephen King’s “The Dark Half” where he writes about a failing writer who creates a pen name under which he writes ultra-violent crime novels.  The pen name is George Stark.  Wonder if these Parker novels were any inspiration?  

    • Halloween_Jack says:

      King is a big crime fiction fan, and he’s started dabbling in it himself–he wrote The Colorado Kid (it’s interesting to look at the Amazon reviews–there are almost equal amounts in all five star categories) and has another one coming up called Joyland. Some of his short stories also fall into that category; “Dolan’s Cadillac” is a revenge story that Parker could appreciate, and “The Ledge” is another good one. 

  8. Ricky Grove says:

    Oh, baby! Stark is the hardest of the hard-boiled novelists. The whole series is remarkable and well worth the time. Glad they are being reissued as the original paperbacks were only published once (for the most part) and for many years were very expensive. I second the Point Blank film adaptation, but I’m more impressed with the graphic novels that have been coming out recently. Have fun, Mark!

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